Ever wondered why they put that there?
Sometimes when you are viewing a painting, you may start to notice how you follow the paintings interests around the canvas. At first, you may see part of the main character or focus of the painting. Whether that’s the main bird so to speak in my case, or in others, trees, sunsets, people, buildings etc. Then your eye will travel to the next element of interest.
Most of the time in the western world where we read right to left – top to bottom, if you notice you do the same thing out of habit with a painting. Your eye hits the main element first, then methodically you travel from right to left – top to bottom throughout the painting.
What artists would like to do in most cases, is to pull your eye back again to the right or to the top to help you travel back around the painting again, revisiting the pieces inside. There might be shapes or colors, or even the lack there of that ping you back into the picture to help you go back to the main element or other interests again. It’s almost like playing an old fashion pin ball game. We have to crank those flipper handles to zing the viewer back up and around again so that they don’t travel off the canvas and wander away.
So, the next time you view a piece of art. Take a second and see if you can find an element of that piece that makes you take a second look.